Are you looking to purchase a home, but are unsure of how much you need as a deposit?

Every lender has different requirements!

Whilst no deposit home loans are largely unavailable, there are many options for people who do not have sufficient savings, such as using a guarantor loan.

How much do I need to save?

As a general rule, home buyers will need 5% to 10% of the purchase price of the house as a deposit.

For a minimum deposit of 5%, here are some examples:

Property purchase price Minimum deposit
$400,000 $20,000
$500,000 $25,000
$800,000 $40,000
$1,000,000 $50,000

You will need additional money to cover your purchasing costs, such as stamp duty and conveyancing, which usually add up to an additional 5% of the purchase price. Slightly less may be required if you are receiving first home benefits which reduce your stamp duty.

If you are an investor, you will ideally need 10% of the purchase price as a deposit and additional money to cover your purchasing costs. You may be eligible for a smaller deposit size depending on the strength of your situation.

Why do I need a deposit?

Having a deposit basically means the lenders is taking less risk in lending you money to buy a property.

The deposit must be the result of genuine savings, which is usually regular savings you’ve contributed to a savings account over a 3 month period.

Although there are exceptions to genuine savings (which you can read on the genuine savings page), a deposit which you’ve saved yourself basically proves to the bank that you have the ability to make regular savings contributions and, therefore, meet your mortgage repayments when your home loan is approved.

What are the costs of buying a property?

Apart from your deposit, some additional costs that you’ll need to meet include conveyancing fees, inspections (including pest and building), home building insurance, title search and loan application fees.

Without a 20% deposit, the biggest cost you’ll be hit with is LMI.

You can estimate the costs of buying a property in your state by using our home purchasing costs calculator.

This calculator will take into account the stamp duty and first home benefits that you may receive.

You can also read a complete break down of these costs with this easy cost guide.

Does the source of my deposit matter?

Each lender has their own policy on the source of a deposit. Even if you have enough funds, you may find yourself unable to obtain a loan because you don’t meet genuine savings requirements.

There are a number of other things that can make up your deposit, including:

  • Your own savings or term deposit
  • Monetary gifts
  • Inheritance
  • Tax refunds
  • Sales of assets such as shares
  • First Home Owners Grant and other first home buyer incentives
  • First Home Saver Accounts

Don’t forget to leave at least 5% of the purchase price of the house to cover fees and charges associated with buying a property.

Will I need genuine savings?

In most cases your deposit will need to be partly made up of genuine savings. This means money that you have saved up yourself over time.

Most banks like to see that you have saved this money over a period of at least three months in order to meet the genuine savings requirement.

Different lenders have varying criteria for genuine savings. Some will waive this requirement if you have been renting, however others are much stricter with their lending policy.

Please refer to our page on genuine savings for more information.

Your savings pattern is important because it demonstrates to the bank that you have an ability to meet your loan repayments.

If you can show that you are putting a few hundred dollars a week towards savings, it looks better than someone who puts a few lump sum payments in every few weeks. This kind of sporadic saving is viewed by some lenders as a higher risk.

The bigger the deposit, the better

The more you can put down as a deposit, the less you’ll have to borrow which means you’ll pay less in interest over the life of the loan. Use the loan repayment calculator to find out how much you can save with a decent deposit.

Bigger range of lenders to choose from.

  • 10% deposit: If you can increase the size of your deposit from the minimum 5% requirement to 10%, you’ll be offered a reduced interest rate and you have more power to negotiate for further discounts such as the waiver of the annual fee for the first year of your mortgage (for strong applications).
    That’s because your loan will be accepted by more lenders which gives you wider range of home loan packages to choose from.
  • 20% deposit You can avoid LMI and save literally thousands of dollars in upfront costs.

    Here some examples of how big of a deposit you’ll need to avoid LMI:

    Property purchase price Minimum deposit to avoid LMI
    $400,0000 $80,000
    $500,0000 $100,000
    $800,0000 $160,000
    $1,000,0000 $200,000

How can I use my equity?

Equity is the amount of the property that is owned. It is the value of an asset minus the debt still owed on it. For example if you have a home worth $500,000 and you owe $300,000 on it then you have $200,000 in equity.

If someone already owns a property and wants to buy a second property they can use the equity on their existing home instead of using their savings.

The property owner may be eligible to get a home loan for 80% to 90% of the value of their current property.

Obviously, if you have a loan against that original property then you will have to use whatever you take out to pay out that original loan first.

Whatever you have remaining can be used as a deposit for the property you wish to purchase. This varies depending on your income evidence and the type of loan you go with. Genuine savings is often not required if you own a property already.

Lenders will also take into account any negative gearing you may have on the original property when calculating how much you can borrow.

What if I don’t have a deposit?

It’s no longer possible to borrow 100% of the property value but with a guarantor you can borrow the full amount plus the costs of completing the purchase.

How does it work

Well, if you parents have enough equity in their home, they can use their property as security for your mortgage guarantor arrangement works by having your parents use their property as security for your mortgage.

Apart from not needing a deposit, you’ll be able to avoid the cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI), a costly insurance premium that you’ll need to pay upfront when your loan is advanced.

Check out the guarantor home loan page to find out more about how it works and the eligibility requirements.

Tips for saving deposit

Saving a good deposit can be tough in today’s market but there’s some tried and tested techniques that you can follow to build your savings:

  • Have an end goal: This not only includes a long term goal but short and medium term goals as well. Regularly reviewing your progress is essential.
  • Have a plan and a timeframe in mind: Work out how much you can realistically save on a regular basis and, based on that, have a time frame to reach your savings goal.
  • Save more, progressively: Start off your savings small and then increase it gradually. It lessens the sting or at least tricks your brain into thinking that saving the deposit isn’t such a huge cost.

For more easy tips, check out the ‘8 Things That Will Trick You Into Saving’ infographic.

Speak to our experts!

Our mortgage brokers can help you figure out how much you need put towards a home deposit and whether you will satisfy the genuine savings requirement. Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online and one of our mortgage brokers will contact you discuss your situation.

  • Isabella

    Can my parents in abroad give me a guarantee to purchase a home? I don’t have deposit but want to buy a home.

  • Hi Isabella,

    Your parents could provide a guarantee to you for buying a property as long as the property is in Australia. Lenders will only accept a property in Australia as a security.

    You could refer this page for more information

  • Ava

    Aside from LMI, what would be the biggest cost when buying property?

  • Hey Ava, purchase stamp duty is usually the largest expense when buying property. This is a tax levied by your state government on all property purchases. If you’re a first home buyer though, you may be able to qualify for FHOG and use it to help cover this as well as some of the other costs of buying property.

  • hartnett

    So I can use my FHOG as my home loan deposit? Sweet.

  • Hi Hartnett,

    Yes, you can use FHOG as your home loan deposit but it usually won’t be enough on its own to cover all of it so make sure you consider other options. However, if it does in fact meet the deposit requirements on its own then that’s great!

  • Scotty

    I have an insolvency record from a few years back and this will stay for a few years more. How much can I borrow and how much deposit will I need?

  • We can help you borrow up to 90% of the purchase price of a property and you’ll need to have at least 14% to 16% of the purchase price to cover your deposit, stamp duty and Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

  • Chase

    Hi, will I need to have a clean credit record if I wanna get a personal loan to use as my home loan deposit?

  • Hi Chase, yes, to qualify you’re generally required to have a clean credit history.

  • Alita Rowland

    hi we have $15000 save so far but we also have personal loans of up to $50000 looking at a guarantor loan for a house but to consolidate our debts with a home loan as well is this possible or just keep saving our loans are up to date never missed a payment

  • Hi Alita,
    With $15,000 of your own savings and perfect repayments this looks really good to a lender. We can consolidate debts with a guarantor loan however it’s not always straightforward. We need to assess this on a case by case basis and we’d need a lot of info from your parents as well.

    Once you spoken to your parents about this then you can call us on 1300 889 743 or complete this form

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  • Sarah Lane

    I have debt amounting to $36000 from a personal loan and CC. I make all my payments and put $1000 fortnightly into savings. I have a good credit history and have $30000 saved for a deposit. Please can you tell me if I’d be eligible to consolidate my debt into a first home buyers mortgage so i could buy a house?! I would like to purchase an established property. Thanks

  • Hi Sarah,
    You could consolidate your debts only if you use a guarantor loan
    Otherwise if you have a high income / save a little more you could buy without consolidating your debts and without a guarantor.

  • Sarah Lane

    I do not have a guarantor and earn $109k pa … how much more would I need to save to be eligible without consolidating etc?

  • Hi Sarah,
    That would depend on the state you are in, if you are receiving first home benefits and the purchase price, among other things. It’s best if you call us on 1300 889 743 and ask for Jenish as he is a specialist in assisting people who are borrowing a high percentage of the property value and then he can complete a full assessment. I expect if you are buying a lower priced property (say up to $400k) and you are in a state that received good first home benefits then you should be ok to buy now or soon. If you want to spend more than that then you may need to save more or pay down your debts first.

  • Kodaline

    I want to buy an investment property in Happy Valley. Can I buy this property with the same level of savings as buying an owner occupier property or do I need to show more savings?

  • Hi Kodaline,
    With investment purchase, you could usually borrow only 90% of the property value. As an investor, you will ideally need 10% of the purchase price as a deposit and additional money to cover your purchasing costs. However, you may be eligible for a smaller deposit size depending on the strength of your situation. Please call us on 1300 889 743 or enquire online and one of our mortgage brokers will contact you discuss your situation.